From the Independent Business Org’s reviews and surveys for 2015 it looks like the future is very promising yet as any small independent business lies the challenges.
With the recent numbers of low unemployment paving the way for hiring comes still the lack of funding to sustain operations. Coupled with that is the tough competition online specifically on online book selling where the big online giants eats you up alive by selling lower than what publishers or distributors sell new books for example.
Sometimes, one may wonder how can they do that but the word “BIG” comes with the saying meaning they have the promotional expense funding to utilize so who cares. What’s really funny is with the so called giants comes the big consignors also dropping down prices favoring the atmosphere and if they can sell even new books for $0.01 they will.
I recently had a town hall discussion on our small shop and I raised the question as any independent bookseller would. “If your shopping online e.g. books and your browsing on description and price what do you normally look for and what’s important?”
The brave souls then responded, “We’ve even consider buying acceptable book conditions as long as they are the cheapest price in there” So as gracious as I want to feel, what can I say as for all these years our “Affordable” wasn’t cheap as cheap but “quality” comes with it.
So my take on this as we prepare for Book Expo America through the American Booksellers Association initiatives on May 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago is it’s time to re-express what book selling and book lovers is about. Quality, experience, joy and great service should still be jointly capitulated on our initiatives and expressions and continue to educate the retail and online consumer what it’s all about.
After all 3 out of 10 online cheapest price sales comes with either the return or negative feedback and guess what? Today even feedback are no longer are deterrent as the culprits invade the cheapest price market on book selling.